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21 Important Points About Brihadeshwara Temple in Tamil Nadu, India

In this article, we will see 21 Important Points About Brihadeshwara Temple in Tamil Nadu, India. It is also Known as Brihadisvara or Brahadeeswarar temple. It is one of the largest temple of South India and also sometimes known as Rajarajeswaram or Peruvudaiyār Kōvil. The name Brihadeshwara or the Great Eshwara was given by Marathas. It is also known in Northern Parts of India has Dhakshina Meru. More on Brihadeshwara Temple.

21 Important Points About Brihadeshwara Temple in Tamil Nadu, India

Important Points About Brihadeshwara Temple in Tamil Nadu

  • Brihadeshwara temple is located on the South Bank of Kaveri River in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.
  • This temple was built by Chola ruler Raja Raja Chola I between 1003 and 1010 AD to match the large size of his Empire.
  • The dream of building a temple came to Raja Raja Chola I mind during a visit to Ceylon(Sri Lanka).
  • Brihadisvara temple is also a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Great Living Chola Temples”.
  • The Shaivism temple celebrates all major Hindu traditions by including the primary deities of the Vaishnavism and Shaktism tradition in the great mandapa of the main temple.
  • The Brihadeshwara temple has the World’s tallest Vimanam(temple tower) and its Kumbam weighs around 80 tons.
  • The gopuram of the main entrance is 30 m high, smaller than the vimana.
  • It has a huge statue of Nandi(Sacred Bull) at the entrance. The statue is carved out of a Single Rock and weighs around 20 tons.
  • The temple is dedicated to Shiva in the form of a huge linga, his abstract aniconic representation. It is 8.7 m (29 ft) high, occupying two storeys of the sanctum. It is one of the largest monolithic linga sculptures in India.
  • The main temple is entirely built of Granite which is quite a mystery as there is no granite to be found anywhere nearby, not for atleast 50 miles. Still more than 130,000 tons of granite are used for construction.
  • Another unique feature is that granite rocks are not binded with each other but are interlocked. This is something we don’t do today in such kind of tall structure.
  • Granite rocks are such hard rocks that it is almost impossible for someone to carve anything on that given its time period and the limited resources available at that time. Still we see thousands of Inscriptions carved with such unique styling.
  • As per Brahadeeswarar temple Inscription, Kunjara Mallan Raja Raja Perunthachan depicted as the chief architect of the temple.
  • Brihadeshwara temple is one of the few temples that have Ashta-dikpaalakas (Guardians of the directions) idols.
  • Brihadeshwara temple is currently administered and managed by Babaji Bhonsle, the head of the Thanjavur Maratha royal family.
  • The temple complex has around sixty four inscriptions of Rajaraja Chola I.
  • The main Vimana (Shikhara) is a massive 16 storeys tower of which 13 are tapering squares.
  • This temple also witnessed lot of destruction due to regular attacks from Muslim Sultans who controlled Madurai region and from Hindu Kings who controller Thanjavur region. Since then temple went through lot of repair and maintenance works.
  • Some of the shrines and structures in this temple were added during Pandya, Nayaka, Vijayanagara and Maratha Era.
  • After decline of Chola Empire, Pandya came to power and then it was take over by the great Vijayanagar Empire. During the reign of Vijayanagara empire, a Nayak King was installed and a clan called Tanjore Nayaks were raised who reigned till mid 17th Century. Later on in 1674, Marathas captured Tanjore which ultimately fell to the British hand like rest of the country.
  • The temple became popular all over the country on its 1000th birthday in September 2010. In its commemoration, a rupees postage stamp, featuring the 216 feet tall Raja Gopuram (Vimana) was released by the India Post.

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